Good Friday: Aboriginal Art

Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri painted only this single work of art with a Christian motif, as far as my researches show. The artist, who was initiated at Napperby, but also baptized in the Lutheran religion in Ntaria (Hermannsburg), revitalized his Christian faith prior to a risky eye operation in 1994; the other eye had been blind since his youth. In his work “Good Friday,” which he painted during Easter in the same year, he included the Christian iconography of the three crosses. A crown of thorns is shown at the lower left, between two of the crosses. Three oversized nails complete the Christian symbolism. The three footprints, which lead to the cross of Jesus, are often found in the works of Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri. 

The artist painted the background of dotted irregular fields in his characteristic style, which had already emerged in his earliest works of the 1970s. The background reminds one of clouds and shadows. In fact, however, the diagonal white and particularly orange-dotted areas represent the Milky Way. The lightning depicts the wrath of God over the death of His son. (Aboriginal Art)

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